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Diffusing Windows vs. Shooting Clean


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#1 Ali Nusrat

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Posted 04 August 2006 - 12:21 AM

Hey guys a quick question for you. I am shooting a scene for an upcoming short in which the director wants to shoot directly into windows that have sunlight shining directly into them.(see picture below) She doesn't want to see through the windows, but just orient the audience to the fact that there is daylight in the room( the windows look pretty cool, too). It is on the second story of an old factory so to cut down/soften the light for the coverage(I want to use the window as key) I was planning on applying diffusion to each of the squares in the window. The room is probably 15x12 in an L shape and there are 2 windows that measure about 6x3(see rough diagram below. The room is painted white (aggh) so I am wondering if shooting the windows clean would be better, making the light more manageable. However, if I do shoot clean the increase in exposure might force me into starting the shot in a silhouette (which I don?t want) and/or getting a milky image. Any advice you could give would be great. The biggest light in my package is a Junior 2k (I have 2 of them) we are shooting 7218. Thanks for the help. Window_copy.jpg Studio.jpg
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#2 Jamie Metzger

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Posted 04 August 2006 - 12:29 AM

Thing is, you can gel up the windows with ND 6 or 9 to help bring down the windows, enabling you to expose somewhere around a 4/5.6 so the windows might be 8/11/22, which is a nautural blow out. You are shooting 500T, which means those windows are going to heat up quite fast (on the f/stop scale), so the only way to not blow them out to bleeding would be to station that junior 3 feet from your actress.

Put the gel on the windows and bring the windows down to 3-4-5 stops over key, depends on what you want and the intensity.
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#3 Chris Pritzlaff

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Posted 04 August 2006 - 12:37 AM

I had the same issue on a shoot I did in a retirement home. We ended up letting the windows blow out, but I put 216 diffusion over each window pane just to ensure that we didn't see anything outside. You could try putting your ND over the windows and then diffusion over that so that you reduce the stop as well as ensure that you still don't see anything outside.

Also keep in mind that the outside light will go a little blue since you are shooting on tungsten stock if that is what you are going for.

Edited by Chris Pritzlaff, 04 August 2006 - 12:39 AM.

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#4 freddie bonfanti

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Posted 04 August 2006 - 03:41 AM

hey there

to me the biggest issue here is the weather. i dont know where you are located but i can assure you it would be a nightmare here in scotland, as the weather changes at least 15 times a day...if you know that the forecast is good then i would try soften the key sunlight (if its to harsh) and carefully play with it bouncing it in strategical places in the room, you may get a way with a lovely ala rembrant scene. if its overcast you would have an even soft light but it wont be enough obviously to give you a good f stop so you would need to use more lights and maybe thats hard in a cramped space: in that case you could try to get hold of an extendable manfrotto pole and some clamps which will enable you to place your lights easily overhead. my advice is check the forecast and come up with a plan. go on the location and try things out. im sure youll make it.

good luck
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#5 Mario C. Jackson

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Posted 04 August 2006 - 01:37 PM

If all you need is the window in one shot then just blow out the window by adding your diffusion over it and then blasting the 2k through it for your establishing shot .After that you can just manipulate the light however you want it. Remember just shoot your movie one shot at a time. When it comes to close ups or medium shots just shoot the 2k through a frame of 250, 216, or whatever works for you and add dimension in the background. Their are many ways to do what you are asking for just find the one that works for you.
Hope this helps
Mario Concepcion Jackson

Edited by Mario C. Jackson, 04 August 2006 - 01:38 PM.

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#6 Mike Moghaddam

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Posted 05 August 2006 - 02:51 PM

Personally I am not a huge fan of putting diffusion on the windows. What I might do if I had enough grip experience on my crew is to rig something over the window from the floor above or hang a double net outside of the window. Another thing to keep in mind is that 7218 is a very good stock that holds up very well with overexposure, so if you are going to do you transfer on a Spirit or a machine of that caliber you can bring the highlights down and retain the information outside the window without too much grain. Just make sure you are using good glass and no diffusion in front of the lens other wise it will bloom around the windows and make things look a little weird. Then again non of this is a science and it is all a mater of opinion. Just don't stress too much because 7218 will handle just about anything you throw at it.
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